News

Midlands Fashion Awards Posted on 07 Nov 15:09 , 0 comments

After being crowned independent designer of the year at the Midlands fashion awards in 2016, we were thrilled to be invited to judge at the Midlands fashion awards 2017 at the CSBO centre in Birmingham on October 20th. Helen was invited to judge alongside Jenny Eason, Debra Hepburn, Andrew Riley and Matt Roden for the 10th anniversary of the Midlands fashion awards. There were so many talented creators this year and we would like to congratulate all the winners from every category and wish everyone who took part all the best for the future.

London Fashion Week Posted on 07 Nov 14:13 , 0 comments

We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to showcase 10 outfits from our latest collection at London fashion week in September of 2017 in the De Vere Connaught rooms for fashion finest in central London. This was our first time showing in London and we had the honour of opening the last show for the 2-day event and were pleasantly surprised by the amount of talent we saw there. It was wonderful to be a part of such a well-organised and well-executed event!


LEICESTER’S TEXTILE INDUSTRY NEEDS TO BE REMEMBERED, SUPPORTED AND REVIVED - Pukaar magazine interview Posted on 12 Jun 17:14 , 0 comments

PUKAAR MAGAZINE’S JESSICA CHALLONER-STERLAND SPEAKS TO LOCAL DESIGNER HELEN HOWE ABOUT HER BRAND AND THE ADVANTAGES OF RUNNING A BUSINESS IN LEICESTER.



During the 1970s and 80s, Leicester’s major manufacturer’s including Nathaniel Corah & Sons were forced to close after their retailers made the detrimental decision to move their production overseas to cut costs. But as the demands for ‘fast fashion’ continue to increase, so does the appetite for British-made clothing. Helping to restore Leicester’s flourishing textile industry is Helen Howe, designer and founder of Helen Howe Atelier.

Photo Credit: Pukaar News

A brand that embraces British heritage, Helen’s collections take inspiration from historical styles and the British countryside. Applying specialist craftsmanship to the finest tweeds and suedes, she creates elegant and timeless pieces for women, as well as bespoke items for men.

Whilst studying at John Cleveland College in Hinckley, Helen had aspirations of becoming a designer. At the age of 15, she was able to get a taste for the industry whilst doing work experience with clothing manufacturer Richard Roberts. After completing a BTEC in Fashion, Helen began her career as a designer. But over two years ago, made the decision to set-up her own business:

“The focus for me was to work with people on an individual basis, not just to create clothing that fit them beautifully and lasted, but made them feel great.”

Selling her luxury tweed collection online and overseas, Helen Howe also offers a bespoke tailoring and made-to-measure service: “It’s not unheard of for a man to go out and get a made-to-measure suit, but for a woman to go out and get a jacket made-to-measure is a little bit more unusual.”  When creating her collections, attention to detail is a key factor: “I use a lot of pleat detailing, curved seaming and use liberty prints for the lining. The new collection which I’m working on for this year includes military detailing and plays with different weights of fabric including Harris Tweed.”

 

Photo Credit: Pukaar News

Located within Leicester’s thriving Cultural Quarter, Helen Howe Atelier resides among other creatives at Maker’s Yard:

“For me, it’s the perfect place to be because I grew up in Leicestershire. At the start of my career, there was still a booming textiles industry. I think it’s important to hold on to that and continue to promote the quality and skills whilst we can. Leicester’s textile industry needs to be remembered, supported and revived.”

Winning Independent Designer of the Year at the Midlands Fashion Award back in June 2016 has helped to raise the profile of the Atelier, and has also opened up new and exciting opportunities:

“I can’t reveal too much, but I’m working on a couple of exciting collaborations to develop bespoke tweeds for different projects. I also have a collaboration with a famous individual over in the states to promote a part of the new collection. It’s going to be a very busy year.”


Fashion vs Style - what's the difference? Posted on 10 Jun 11:30 , 0 comments

 

Let's be clear here - Fashion and Style are too very different concepts. While they work in unison for the most part, they are not the same thing.

To many fashion is seen as either something for only the young or totally out of reach for the majority, designed for a specific body shape that rarely appeals to or considers the varying ages and body shapes of women in society

Perhaps that is true, but in reality what we all want and deserve is to be stylish. To look and feel great regardless of age, size or shape. Of course fashion does plays a part in that, but style is really more about how you apply fashion. It's about knowing what works for you, what looks and feels good for YOU. It's about how to construct an outfit and present it. Age, size and shape are then irrelevant when it comes to being stylish.

Being stylish in no way means we need to follow fashion trends, so there is a clear difference. While fashion itself can be stylish it is also often exclusive, in contrast a sense of style is accessible to us all, all that is needed is a little guidance and support to understand how best to dress for you

I work with women of every age, size, shape and some with very specific needs and requirements to help them to feel great, it's interesting to see the change in posture and the way women carry themselves once they feel confident in their appearance.

For me the opportunity to work 1:1 with my clients to create clothing designed specifically for them and made to fit them perfectly is a true joy. The moment that they first slip into their new garment is one of the best parts of being a Designer. Seeing the huge smiles and hearing how they feel beautiful and confident in my designs makes me love what I do even more

To find out how we can help you feel great or for more information about the services we provide please drop us an email at  hello@helenhoweatelier.co.uk



10 Questions - with Fashion Designer Helen Howe Posted on 08 Jun 09:30 , 0 comments

Having recently been interviewed for a 'getting to know you' piece we thought we would share the results and an insight into the our creative head Helen Howe

 

  1. What does a typical day look like for you? 

It depends, my life is pretty busy most of the time! after the craziness of getting my kids up and out in the morning my work day usually starts with a bit of planning and catching up on emails and admin, I spend the majority of my working day focusing on my creative work with client fittings and meetings in between. I often end up working on my business in the evenings and am usually in the studio on a Saturday so it's pretty much full on 6 days a week, but i wouldn't have it any other way!

  1. What has been your biggest challenge?

I've faced lots of challenges in starting and growing my business, I think for me the actual legal and business side of business has been a challenge as I've had to learn and teach myself as I've gone along 

  1. What has been your greatest achievement to date?

Probably winning independent designer of the year at the midland fashion awards - it was a bit of a shock! 

  1. Where did you train?

I did a 2 year btec in fashion at Leicester college and have been working as a designer since age 18

  1. What do you love about your job/ business?

While I love most parts of what I do, for me the best part is working with clients 1:1 to create the perfect garments for them. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than watching someone start to feel beautiful, confident and stylish the moment they put on what I've created for them. 

6.What's in your handbag?

Aside from the usual (keys, wallet, phone) I always have a small bottle of Jo Malone perfume, my business cards, a hairbrush and at least one toy car or Dinosaur (I have a 3 year old) 

  1. Please tell us 3 things you couldn't live without?

Cheese, tea and meditation 

  1. What is your favourite place?

I've been to so many wonderful places around the world - I love to travel! so I'm just going to say the beach 

  1. What do you do for fun?

To me my work is fun (for the most part!) but when I'm not working I like to read, go to concerts, catch up with friends, do yoga, play drums or hang out with my kids, I also like to snowboard but I'm not very good at it! 

  1. What one piece of advice would you offer to someone wanting to work in the fashion industry?

Get as much work experience as you possibly can! It really does make all the difference when you are applying for jobs




Helen Howe Atelier wins Independent Designer of the year Posted on 07 Jun 13:30 , 0 comments

 

Helen Howe Atelier was crowned Independent Designer of the year recently at the Midlands Fashion Awards. On winning this prestigious award Helen commented: "it is a both a huge shock and an honour to have won independent designer of the year, i'm thrilled beyond words and would like to thank the organisers, judges and my fellow nominees for what has been a fantastic show. The diverse range of products, genres and talent on show tonight has been wonderful to see and i've thoroughly enjoyed being part of such a great event. Congratulations to the winners in the other catergories and to everyone involved"

See the pre show interview with Helen ahead of her winning independent designer of the year below:


Bentley Fashion Evening Posted on 20 Jun 22:25 , 0 comments

We were thrilled to be invited to showcase our latest collection at the Bentley Leicester fashion evening on June 2nd. We attended this invitation only event alongside Temperley London and Spence London, to meet Bentley's customers and enjoy an evening of Fashion and supercars!

Hosted at Bentley's stuuning Leicester showroom, we were treated to a decadent evening of luxury cars, luxury fashion, amazing art and cocktails! It was fantastic to meet so many wonderful people, I also fell in love with the Lavender Bentley (it's on my wish list!)

With a focus on Great British design, timeless craftsmanship and bespoke products we felt very much at home in such good company

Bentley Lavender

Bentley

Tweed Collection Helen Howe Atelier

Bentley Leicester

Tweed Collection

Helen Howe Atelier

Bentley Helen Howe Atelier


The Entrepreneur Exchange event 18th May 2016 Posted on 20 Jun 21:55 , 0 comments

On Wednesday, 18 May, at 6pm, 40 of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs are offering business advice for free at 20 locations across the UK.

As a Designer and Entrepreneur I was thrilled to attend this event, not least because the two guest speakers at the Birmingham were Anya Hindmarch (a hero of mine!) and Charlotte Tilbury - two women I very much admire.

It was wonderful to hear the experiences and advice of two such successful women and also to have the opportunity to put a question to them, which they answered perfectly offering me some fantastic guidance and tips!

It was a fantastic evening and I met some fabulous fellow entrepreneurs! Held at the Council House right at the heart of Birmingham, the event was superbly organised and was a pleasure to attend. A fantastic evening of networking with fantastic people! See a highlight video above!

 

 


Our 2016 photoshoot - Behind the scenes! Posted on 05 Apr 16:01 , 0 comments

We had so much fun shooting our 2016 photo campaign! Having initially intended the shoot to be mostly outdoors, mother nature stepped in with monsoon style rain (all day) and we decided to focus on an indoor location instead. We were lucky to be welcomed by the fantastic Hunting Lodge in Barrow Upon Soar, which turned out to be the perfect backdrop for our luxury tweed. Many pairs of expert hands go into a successful shoot and we were thrilled to have a fantastic team on the day! Huge thanks to all involved - here are a few behind the scenes shots of us all hard at work!

Liberty Open Call 2016 - Best of British Posted on 22 Mar 09:47 , 0 comments

 

Having made the shortlist, we were thrilled to be invited to the Liberty Best of British open call. The open call is an annual event at the iconic Liberty of London store. British Designer makers across fashion, accessories, gift and homeware are selected to meet with buyers from Liberty to showcase their wares and receive expert advice and direction on their product offer. The discussion is the first step on a path to potentially being stocked in the world renowned store.

 

Following a VERY early start we joined fellow designer makers in the waiting line and were pleased to meet some fantastic and friendly people. The level of work being shown by everyone looked fantastic. The whole event was incredibly well run and went very smoothly, it was a pleasure to be a part of it

We were seen very early in the day and met with the fashion buying team for our pitch. Each designer has just 4 minutes to pitch their product before receiving comments. We were thrilled that the buyers were interested in the Helen Howe Atelier collection, taking details with a view to seeing the whole collection post photoshoot.

 

All in all it was a fantastic day! If you are considering attending future events here are a few tips!

Arrive early, and we mean EARLY, we were outside by 6:30am and were close to the front of the queue, by the time we were seen the queue looped the whole way around the outside of the building!

Do your research, know what similar products they already stock and where your range would sit in their store

Practice your pitch, know what you want to get across to them – the 4 minutes goes VERY quickly so being concise is important

Know your prices (both wholesale and RRP) and the margin they can expect to make from your products. Be realistic in pricing and know your lead times

 

Check out the video from the day above and a few snaps from our experience of the Open call below,

If you decide to apply for the next one good luck from us! We will keep you updated with our progress!

Team HHA xx